City Staff came full circle and recommended the current location of the City’s salt dome as the location of a new, replacement salt dome. The recommendation, readily accepted by City Council on April 16, brought to a close the City’s search for a feasible location for the dome that began in May 2011 with a list of proposed locations.

In the May 2011 report, City Staff indicated a need for a much larger dome because of salt shortages in recent years that had driven the price of salt sky high in the middle of snow season, said Director of Public Works Suzette Robinson.

Changes in City operations brought on by the increased use of brine treatments make the need for a full 4,000 tons of salt storage less severe.

The replacement salt dome is expected to have a capacity of 3,750 tons, 250 tons fewer than the target capacity. But the location, in the parking lot of the City’s service center tucked away out of sight between Ridge Avenue and Green Bay (and the Metra tracks) just south of the Civic Center, keeps the unattractive structure out of sight.

The old dome is cracked and leaking, Ms. Robinson said in May 2011, necessitating replacement. The replacement dome has a budget of $510,000 and is expected to be completed in Spring 2013. It will include indoor or covered storage, salt brine production equipment and overhead deicing capacity.